Opinion : What Does The WhatsApp Debacle Tell Us About Indian Culture?

A nation of sheeples beget the government of wolves. The sheeples are so mentally misguided to condemn and scorn the axioms of privacy, consent and choice that they would walk an extra mile to ensure that the system stays panoptic and Orwellian enough to legitimize their government snooping all of us. These sheeples are perilous than wild and untrained animals.

The sheeple here is also a metaphor of the Indian statists, who elect their own slaughterer once in every 5 years. They dislike hearing logic, facts and questions because they do not wish to get their illusions destroyed. In the current context, they play a hyperactive role in sustaining the fascism of the Modi government through the means of hate speech promotion, online trolling, intimidation, intolerance of views outside their box, homophobia and nevertheless consenting the government in transcending over its constitutional limits.

Why would not the Modi government unwelcome such sheeples, when they are playing a proactive role in lynching the principles of democracy, fraternity and liberty? These sheeples are almost responsible for the qualities and standards of leadership and governance they set. The government in power is simply a representation of society’s cognition. Generally if you were to observe, you will realise how people around you – in massive numbers – condemn privacy at personal and social level, scorn the value of consent and undermine the significance of choice.

This abhorrence for these three important and democratic principles commence from disregarding individuals’ approach towards personal lifestyle, financial independence, gender equity, sexual orientation and political option.

The Indian society is deeply infected with the Modi syndrome. The recent case of the spyware Pegasus hacking and snooping into the WhatsApp accounts of dissenting journalists, human rights activists and oppositional voices manifests the hate towards privacy and consent. Do you literally think that the spyware would snoop these people on its own without the Indian government’s intimation? If yes, then how would the software benefit from personally targeting the selected individuals, who had been known to express their respective condemnation against the current fascist regime? If no, then why would the spyware not sue the Modi government instead for intervening in their personal business affairs?

The Modi government, in the past, has approved more Orwellian schemes like Project Insight (to target the taxpayers and their social media profile), Aadhar card, conferring more powers to 10 national agencies on decrypting and intercepting the data stored in computer and other electronic sources, etc. This government came to power in 2014 by chanting a liberal slogan “minimum government, maximum governance” (meaning the government will interfere less, as the governance will do everything) is retreating. It has now become about “maximum government, minimum governance” which is to say that the government enjoys unlimited powers at the expense of liberties of all.

From twisting the RTI Act, launching a war on cash (demonetisation) to the GST (financial expropriation of wealth), the government is simply maximising statism and minimising liberalism.

The travesty of the current civilisation is that the sheeples are simply okay with the top-down authoritarianism. Since childhood, most of us are not adequately taught the grammar of choice, consent, freedom and privacy due to which the current epoch has a dystopian story to tell.

Little do the sheeples realize that they deserve neither freedom nor security. Eventually, “ghar ghar Modi” (the philosophy of Modi in every household) is coming true. Modi has become too omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent in the functional democracy of choices, consent and privacy that India can undertake.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
Featured image source: Helar Lukats/Wikimedia Commons.
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